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Many stakeholders across the food industry appear to be confused about implementation deadlines surrounding the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), according to a recent study from PMMI (pmmi.org), The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies. Compiled from 64 interviews with manufacturing professionals, the report details food manufacturers’ perceptions of FSMA, and how equipment manufacturers can best help them respond to the upcoming regulations. PMMI has also released a corresponding infographic to accompany the study findings.
“Since 2011, FSMA has been a source of anticipation and anxiety for many food and beverage manufacturers. The legislation can impact companies differently depending on their size and vertical market,” says Paula Feldman, director, Business Intelligence, PMMI. “Our aim with this study was to shed light on industry concerns and advise manufacturers on ways they can ensure compliance.”
The study identifies the industries most affected by the anticipated rules. Fresh produce manufacturers are expected to see the greatest impact. Producers of baby food, infant formula and nutraceuticals will see little impact as they have already been subject to rigorous standards for preventative controls, traceability and sanitary equipment design. Industries overseen by the USDA are less likely to be impacted and juice, low-acid canned foods and seafood manufacturers are exempt.
The report also expands on ways that manufacturers affected by FSMA can make strides towards compliance – whether they have one, two, three or four years to do so. These steps include reducing liability with greater traceability capabilities, evaluating equipment design for improved sanitary construction and easy cleaning, and training operators thoroughly and often.
Companies seeking solutions and insights to advance their food safety measures and learn more about what FSMA might mean to their factories can look to PACK EXPO International 2014 (Nov. 2-5; McCormick Place, Chicago) as a resource. The show will be North America’s leading resource for packaging and processing technologies this year. Located in the South Hall, The Food Safety Summit Resource Center (Booth #S-2962), sponsored by the Food Safety Summit and GE Intelligent Platforms, will offer information on the latest research and advanced technologies to improve cleaning, allergen control and traceability. Subject matter experts will be on hand to respond to attendee questions on FSMA and related topics.
Additionally, PACK EXPO will offer free educational programming on and near the show floor with multiple Innovation Stage locations which will address the advancement of food safety initiatives.